Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review - Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1

"Poyo was there. There to save the day. To dispense justice. And vengeance."

There's a fear of the robots uprising and enslaving humanity. Maybe the fear should shift the other way, towards the animals humanity has domesticated for whatever reason. Because when one of those creatures is domesticated with the ability to easily handle any enemy in combat, we're likely going to be in big trouble. Poyo is one such character and he's doling out even more justice in Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written and lettered by John Layman and illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory (with color assists by Taylor Wells).

Poyo is a legend among legends. He deftly moves from preventing one disaster to preventing another, all while utterly dominating his opponents in ways that you wouldn't think possible. His latest journey takes him to Yoek, a faraway land where a menacing Grocerymancer has turned vegetables against the kingdom's inhabitants. Poyo is called upon to save the kingdom and the day, which gives him plenty of chances to act out all sorts of awesome.

As a character, Poyo is who he is. And who he is a combat ready chicken with a propensity for delivering violence to all manner of opponent. Layman doesn't let up at all in Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 in that regard, as Poyo travels through a plethora of obstacles en route to becoming king. Those fighting journeys are extremely enjoyable to follow along with and Layman paces the book with about as much breakneck speed as Poyo fights with. The dialogue is excessively snappy and amusing, with Layman paying homage to quite a few other works in pop fiction that fans will love. What's more is that the story is just so crazy that it works; that is, Layman doesn't try to make it anything more than it needs to be from a storytelling standpoint. He essentially puts combatants in Poyo's way for the explicit purpose of him destroying them.

Considering the amount of violence in the book, Guillory does a great job of not letting it overwhelm the reader in terms of gore. There are some pretty intense panels though, including some blood spatters and other injuries that don't really seem to be all that fun. Poyo blends in very well with the characters around him and Guillory makes him feel as if he's a character who could easily slot into any world. Poyo is illustrated with an air of mystery about him that makes him feel that much more legendary, which helps with the overall feel of triumph in the book. All of the references to other works are presented in ways that quickly evoke the reference in the reader and are extremely amusing at the same time. And he's somehow made carrots, asparagus and gourds look excessively menacing and murderous.

Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 is a very simple concept: a warrior chicken fighting a man commanding angry vegetables to subdue a kingdom. It's a plot that's rife with being ludicrous, but it's so damn amusing and entertaining that you can't help go along for the ride. Layman's leading chicken is unparalleled in his combat prowess and fights evil with a tireless enthusiasm that would make Jack Bauer envious. Guillory's illustrations blend together violence and matter of fact humor in a way that emphasizes the right emotion at the right time. Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 is a joy to read and will definitely make anyone a believer in the capabilities of the chicken warrior known as Poyo.

Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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